• Josh Abraham

    How to Mitigate Mimikatz WDigest Cleartext Credential Theft


    Posted on Tuesday, June 14, 2016 by Josh Abraham

    Penetration testers and malicious adversaries often focus on using the easiest attack vector to achieve their objectives. One common attack vector that has been around for several years is to use a tool called Mimikatz and steal cleartext credentials from memory of compromised Windows systems.


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  • Elvis Collado

    Reversing and Exploiting Embedded Devices: The Software Stack (Part 1)


    Posted on Thursday, June 02, 2016 by Elvis Collado

    Over the course of the past few months I've been traveling around educating people on exploiting embedded devices. My slides alone aren't able to provide enough information, so I wanted to write everything out for people to digest online. The following blog post is "Part 1", which will introduce the reader to the software side of embedded devices. I decided to cover software first since most flaws reside within the software stack, ranging from binary applications to drivers. Part 2 will cover the Hardware stack with a focus on educating the reader on how JTAG actually works and how to leverage Hardware modifications to either bypass password protections or to extract secrets that may be baked into the targeted devices.


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  • Josh Abraham

    Broadcast Name Resolution Poisoning / WPAD Attack Vector


    Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 by Josh Abraham

    One of the common attack vectors for penetration testing is to leverage an attack known as Broadcast Name Resolution Poisoning. Recently, US-CERT posted an advisory about this attack being used externally. Attackers purchased new generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDS) and setup entries for the Web Proxy Auto-Discovery Protocol (WPAD). This is pretty interesting since it’s an old attack used in a new way. Let’s dive into how Broadcast Name Resolution Poisoning is used during internal penetration testing and go over recommendations for how to fully mitigate all forms of attack.


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  • Kelby Ludwig

    An Opinionated Series on Why Signal Protocol is Well-Designed: Deniability


    Posted on Tuesday, May 17, 2016 by Kelby Ludwig

    In my previous blog post covering WhatsApp end-to-end encryption, I spoke about Signal Protocol and how certain design decisions allowed Signal Protocol to be efficient on mobile devices. For this blog post, I’ll cover deniable authentication, how it has worked in the Off-The-Record (OTR) Messaging protocol, and how Signal Protocol has approached this problem.

    Deniable authentication tries to digitally recreate “off-the-record” conversations in the physical realm. If you tell Bob an embarrassing story in-person and Bob proceeds to tell Mallory about that story, it is possible for you to claim that Bob made the story up. Conversely, if you were to “sign” every statement you have ever made to Bob it would be practically impossible to deny that you told that story to Bob.


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  • Frank Gifford

    Engineering Efficiency and Continuous Improvement in Security Services


    Posted on Tuesday, April 26, 2016 by Frank Gifford

    Highlight is a simple utility that creates an image from a text stream, automatically draw boxes around user defined content and automatically blurs sensitive content.

    Sometimes we have a text stream, such as the output of a configuration file, and we want to include that as an image into a document. At the same time, we might want to highlight a particular string of text that's found and we might want to hide other details that might contain things such as passwords. We could use a screen capture utility and then proceed with marking up the image. This leads to inconsistent boxes around text and certainly does not lend itself to automation.

    With this utility, the entire process can be automated.


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  • Dylan Ayrey

    JTAGulator vs. JTAGenum, Tools for Identifying JTAG Pins in IoT Devices


    Posted on Wednesday, April 20, 2016 by Dylan Ayrey

    Do you suspect some pins on your device are JTAG? There are several methods out there for identifying if pins are likely to be JTAG or not. One of those methods involves buying a $200 JTAGulator, however there is a cheaper Arduino-based alternative I will be detailing in this post. First I'll explore the expensive way.


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  • Mark Judice

    Email Filters: A Reliable Phishing Protection?


    Posted on Tuesday, April 12, 2016 by Mark Judice

    It's no secret that spear phishing is a prevalent threat and is making an appearance in many CISOs' nightmares. The Verizon’s 2016 breach digest is out and—for anyone who hasn’t looked through it yet—the answer is 30%. That’s the percentage of breaches from 2013 to 2016 that leveraged social engineering tactics to stage a compromise. Of those attacks, phishing accounts for 72% of them. That means that nearly 22% of breaches in the last 3 years have leveraged phishing in some way or another. It's hard enough to secure external and internal assets... but having to secure your employees too? It’s a scary thought. Definitely something to keep one up at night.

    Current solutions include improving user awareness through training exercises, minimizing and controlling damage through defined incident response programs, and stopping phishing emails before they ever make it to employees' inboxes through email/spam filtering solutions. We're here to talk about the last one.

    Using a collection of benign and phishy emails alongside a spam filter testing service called Email on Acid, we've taken a stab at comparing 22 different spam filtering solutions. These tests measure each spam filter's ability to stop spear-phishing emails in their tracks. To anyone afraid of long articles, the “tl;dr” reads something like this: Spam filters are okay. They’re not perfect and not terribly intelligent, but they can be effective at times and represent one layer of defense that should be in-place to protect an organization from phishing or spear-phishing attacks.


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  • Kelby Ludwig

    End-to-End WhatsApp: An Opinionated Series on Why Signal Protocol is Well-Designed


    Posted on Thursday, April 07, 2016 by Kelby Ludwig

    WhatsApp recently announced that client communications are now end-to-end encrypted using Open Whisper System’s “Signal Protocol” (previously Axolotl). This has received quite a bit of press lately due to WhatsApp's massive user base, along with the controversial going dark debates. Less importantly, the crypto-nerd in me loves Signal. Because of all of this, I thought I would write a blog series on some of Signal's design decisions that I feel are well-designed.


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  • Dylan Ayrey

    Why are JTAG and UART still effective attack vectors for IoT devices?


    Posted on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 by Dylan Ayrey

    Whether it's a vulnerable router, an Internet of Things (IoT) connected device, or some other piece of hardware, JTAG and UART debugging test pins left on the device are going to continue to be one of the most effective physical hardware attack vectors available to a malicious actor. Never assume your secrets on IoT devices, such as encryption keys, are safe. You may be wondering what JTAG and UART are, and why they're left on boards.


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  • Kelby Ludwig

    Secure Password Storage in Go, Python, Ruby, Java, Haskell, and NodeJS


    Posted on Thursday, March 03, 2016 by Kelby Ludwig

    In order to authenticate users, web applications often store user passwords. This can be tricky, because password storage mechanisms are a watering hole for bad advice: there are several solutions to this problem but very few are truly secure. If you store the passwords of your users, your goal should be to make sure that in the event of a data compromise, user passwords should remain safe. The best way to store users passwords is to use a password-based key derivation function (PBKDF) with a sufficient work factor. If your application does not leverage a PBKDF, you should migrate password storage schemes immedietely. More on this later.


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